A LOVELY LIFE
Days pass in a succession of alarms:
shower, keep breathing, call your mother.
I do not leave
the house but I do get out
of bed sometimes,
to sit at the worn oak table
in the corner of the kitchen and wait
for the dog to indicate her need to piss.
I find it kinda funny
the way her left ear folds back:
soft, pink skin offering
itself to every ‘good girl!’
(In this way, I think we are alike)
I’ve nothing new to say.
The woman across the street
is a thought-cloud, that curious sheep:
umbrella floating like a
question above her head.
Are the women all accounted for, before I go to sleep?
to make you shear
your own skin.
It’s pissing down,
the woman is a black cloud,
the dog is playing dead
I take the pills to keep me awake -
which are not to be confused
with the pills to make me fall
asleep, or the pills to stop
the intrusive thoughts - they
bring their own alarm.
I get serotonin-drunk, count
breaths until my fingers numb,
and call my mother — who is fine
by the way, in that way of us
always being fine. An inter-
generational fine-ness. I come
from a long line of fine women:
grin-bearing, broad shouldered.
How heavy can the world be?
I’m not as sad as I seem.
I’m what they call managing
which I guess means I’m somehow
the one with all the answers, yet
I question the wisdom of leaving
all this in my butter-hands. Once,
I slipped and landed
on the wrong side of consequence.
Both of these things are a lie.
So the days pass
in their alarming way, and I am nothing
if not my mother’s daughter.
Really, it is a lovely life:
there are freshly picked
flowers in a crystal-cut vase.
into coffee cups.
Paula Lewis-Gamble is an emerging writer and poet from Wales, UK who studied Creative Writing with The Open University. Paula writes about mental illness, gendered violence, body image bias, and other fun things.
She can mostly be found wearing pyjamas.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.